Monday, February 27, 2006

Writers are natural murderers. Their murderousness is a form of sociopathy, fueled by resentment, scorn, glee, and deep affection. Before they can even begin writing, they must kill off parents, siblings, lovers, mentors, friends—anyone, in short, whose opinion might matter. If these people are left alive and allowed to take up residence in the front row of the audience, the writer will never be able to get the fiction right. More than this, she will never want to get it right. What she must do, if the fiction is to take breath, is to defictionalise the life, to disentangle it from the myths and fictions that we all create in order to control what we cannot alter. And then to work down, down, down, to the morally anaerobic heart of the matter within.

--Lynn Freed, Reading, Writing, and Leaving Home

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